Gov’t scrambles to mitigate disaster effects

Gov’t scrambles to mitigate disaster effects

The images of absolute devastation caused by the floods triggered by the Daniel weather front in Thessaly and central Greece have once again highlighted the shortcomings in the operation of the state mechanism, prompting Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to postpone his visit to the 87th Thessaloniki International Fair (September 9-17), where he had been scheduled to present the government’s four-year plan and hold a major press conference. 

The decision was taken in response to the trail of destruction left behind by Daniel as evidenced by the loss of life and the number of missing persons, and the yet incalculable damage to infrastructure and property.

A government source told Kathimerini that “the scale of the disaster is incalculable at this moment” saying that “the true extent of the disaster is still not known.”

Mitsotakis, the source said, could not go to Thessaloniki to make his speech with central Greece drowning in mud.

The magnitude of the disaster led to the involvement of the Hellenic Armed Forces, with Defense Minister Nikos Dendias contacting the Chief of the Armed Forces Konstantinos Floros as he rushed back from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he was visiting.

The government’s sole focus has shifted to Thessaly, setting up an operations center in Larissa for the better coordination of all actions taken in Magnesia, Karditsa, Trikala and Larissa, which will be in direct cooperation and coordination, centrally, with Civil Protection.

Specifically in Larissa, National Defense Staffs were being installed for the evacuations, while senior officials of power and water utilities were entrusted with overseeing the electricity and water supply. Deputy ministers and other senior government officials were installed to oversee transport networks, and for the supply of the blocked areas of Magnesia, Trikala and Karditsa with food, water and shelter, if necessary, as well as access to health facilities. 

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